Thursday, April 06, 2006

New York, New York

I just have to say it. I love New York. I can easily see myself living there after I get my degrees. I would love to work at the New York Public Library or the National Archives.

My trip wasn’t entirely successful; I didn’t find Concordia; however, the librarian at the Rare Books room feels the same way I do about it. It’s definitely heavy on the Catholic symbolism. I think I’ll try the Diocese and Vatican archives again. I did fill in little things and some details about the other printers, though. I’ll have some fun plugging the data into the list as it is. I wasn’t able to get the Roberts book, so I think I’ll have to lose the explanation for Elzevir’s mark. I can’t footnote it without the page number. Ah, well. Maybe on my second edition of the pamphlet (after I actually find Concordia) I’ll be able to add it. I may say I’m giving up, but I think I’ve discovered yet another lifelong obsession. Hah, “discovered”!? I’ve been at this about ten years now. I think it qualifies, along with genealogy research (and frogs) as an obsession.

Oh, just an aside. As Mom was driving me to the bus stop today, I saw a truck for Bates Casket Company. Just before we crossed out of Jersey and into New York, I saw yet another. I know you’re wondering why this is significant. After all, one often sees the same truck company in different places. Well, it’s only significant because I had noted the company’s motto (printed on the trucks) when I saw the first truck. “Bates Casket Company: Committed to the dignity of life.” Correct me if I’m wrong, but who (other than Dracula) uses a casket while they are alive?

Anyway, the trip into New York took twice as long as it should have. We left at 7:35 as scheduled and immediately hit the snowstorm. The driver took the turnpike and went around the worst area of 380 and we ended up at the Mt. Pocono exit after about one and a half hours. Traffic westbound was at a dead standstill for miles. We cruised along carefully. The drive through the storm was wonderful. Winter Wonderland truly defines it. Everything was covered in snow. It looked like Christmas. Of course, I was thanking the Gods for the sight at the same time I was imploring them not to let me get stuck and miss out on my chance at research. ;p

When we hit Delaware Water Gap, we had to pick up some poor commuters whose bus had died. One of the gentlemen said he’d called his boss to tell him why he was going to be late and the boss didn’t believe him that he was stuck in whiteout conditions. At that moment there was no snow in New York - at that moment. Hee hee. We got into New York around a quarter after 11 and went to the Port Authority to drop the commuters off. A couple of us got off there with them, including myself, since the Port Authority is closer to the library than the normal drop-off point.

We brought the snow with us. The storm chased right after us and brought flakes at least an inch and a half across. The snow couldn’t quite decide whether it wanted to be snow or rain, so it compromised. The huge flakes melted the second they touched anything and soaked everything. It was great. I got into the library soaking wet and look like a drowned rat in my picture for the library card. So much for trying to look nice today. I look like I took a handful of downers. The flash caught me in a blink.

It was a good day, even if I didn’t find Concordia. I didn’t really expect to, to tell you the truth. I figured I’d just be filling things in. I don’t know why. Maybe I’ve just lost any real hope of ever identifying Concordia. It’s been a mystery so long now. One of these days, I’ll turn around and there it’ll be, I think. Maybe I’ll get into cataloguing and creating a database of printer’s marks. I’ll be scanning them into the computer one day and it’ll be the next one. Actually, the librarian and I were talking about that. He (and I) was bemoaning the fact that the most famous marks that everyone knows get put into these databases, but not the obscure marks.

Everyone needs something to search for, right? Besides, it gives me an excuse to take a trip to another library when the opportunity presents itself. What a hardship.



Sheri said...

You know, the National Archives (NARA) are close to where we are... move, Heather... move :D

Shadowspun said...

DC, Philly or NY. One of the three is the ultimate goal. I need to have the History degree at least before I move, though. That way I can get a somewhat decent job and pay for the Library Science degree!

But, yes, leaving Scranton is a definite!

I have to figure out some time to visit you guys this summer.

Sinspired said...


Shadowspun said...


As if any of those places would be hard to visit, or for me to visit here.